German History Society

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Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher activities

The German History Society sponsors or co-sponsors several initiatives aimed at funding postgraduate and early career researcher activities:

1. Postgraduate Bursaries

Postgraduate Bursaries

The German History Society offers three Postgraduate Bursaries annually, each of £2000. These may be used to fund language courses, archive study trips, fees or general maintenance and are offered in addition to the small grants for travel and workshops / conferences that are also dispensed by the Society.

The scholarships are open to any student currently registered for a higher degree at a university in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, and to those who have completed a PhD within two years of the deadline for application but who have no other institutional sources of funding.

Applicants must also be members of the German History Society.

Applicants should submit (in electronic form) the following to the Postgraduate Officer:

  • A completed application cover form. Download application form.
  • An A4 outline of their project, including a statement of the progress made thus far and a brief schedule of work for the coming 12 months.
  • A brief statement of how they would use the scholarship and how it would further their academic work (500 words maximum).
  • A statement of other sources of funding applied for and/or received (300 words maximum).
  • Applicants should also ask their supervisors to submit a reference directly to the Postgraduate Officer. The reference should confirm the details of the application and make the case for support in the usual manner.

The closing date for receipt of complete applications, including references, is 15 April. Applications should be consolidated into a single document.

Applications will be considered by a panel drawn from the Committee of the Society; the Society expects to be able to notify applicants approximately six weeks after the closing date.

In making their decision the panel will consider applications in the round, and will take into account the academic quality of the proposal; the progress that the applicant has made thus far; the availability to the applicant of alternative sources of funding; the extent to which the applicant has made good use of these; and the likelihood that the Society’s money will make a tangible difference to the likely success of the project concerned.

The successful applicants in 2016 are:

  • Katherine Bond (University of Cambridge)
  • Samantha Knapton (Newcastle University)
  • Crawford Matthews (University of Hull)

2. Small grants for research trips, travel to GHS events or other conferences, or organising workshops / conferences

Small grants for research trips, travel to GHS events or other conferences, or organising workshops / conferences

These grants are open to all postgraduate members of the German History Society currently registered for a higher degree at a university in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, and to those who have completed a PhD within two years of the deadline for application but who have no other institutional sources of funding.

Please note that awards for funding are made in a formal competition held three times each year. The deadlines for submission are 1 January, 15 April, and 15 August. Each application should include an application form, a provisional budget for the trip and a statement of the aims and objectives (300 words max.). Download application form.

All decisions on funding will be by a panel within approximately six weeks of the deadline.

All requests for reimbursement must be made within six months after the expense was incurred. Whenever possible, payments from the Society should be made by electronic transfer into a UK bank account. Alternative arrangements can be made for recipients who are residents of the Republic of Ireland.

Funding requests can be for any of the following purposes:

  • Bursaries for attendance at the German History Society’s own regional conferences and Annual Conference.

    Applications should only be made where all alternative avenues of financial support have already been exhausted. The Society will consider contributing up to £150 towards travel and accommodation expenses. Please note that the Society does not reimburse for food/beverage expenses.

    Successful applicants in 2016 include:

    • Ben Pope (University of Durham)
    • Saskia Limbach (University of St Andrews)
    • Roísín Watson (King’s College London)
    • Research Grants and Conference Attendance

      Applicants may apply for a sum of up to £750 to assist with travel and accommodation expenses on research trips to archives / libraries with relevant resources for historians of the German lands OR for up to £500 for travel, accommodation and registration expenses associated with conference attendance beyond the UK and the Republic of Ireland (priority will be given to those presenting papers). Again, other avenues of financial support must have been exhausted and the Society does not reimburse for food/beverage expenses. Each application must include a detailed budget for the trip and a statement of the aims and objectives (no longer than 300 words). In addition, a reference from the relevant supervisor should indicate that no sources of funding are available from the home institution. Depending on the number of bids and the society's financial position, individual research projects may be supported more than once.

      Each application should include an application form, a provisional budget for the trip and a statement of the aims and objectives (300 words max). Applications should be consolidated into a single document.

      Successful applicants in 2016 include:

      • Saskia Limbach (University of St Andrews)
      • Lorena De Vita (University of Aberystwyth)
      • Helga Muellneritsch (University of Liverpool)
      • Turlach O Broin (University College Dublin)
      • Darren O'Byrne (University of Cambridge)
      • Edmund Wareham (University of Oxford)
    • Organising Conferences or Workshops

      Applicants may apply for a sum of up to £1,000 to assist with the costs of organising a conference or workshop. Both the applicant(s)/organiser(s) of the conference and the main beneficiaries of the funding should be postgraduate students. Each application must include a detailed budget for the conference and a statement of its aims and objectives (no longer than 600 words). Applications should be consolidated into a single document. In addition, a separate reference from the relevant supervisor should indicate that funding from the home institution and other sources has been exhausted.

      Each application for a small grant should include the application form, a brief proposal, outline of expenditures and a letter of support from the postgraduate's supervisor / academic director. All materials should be sent by email to the Society's Postgraduate Officer, Alison Rowlands, marked ‘GHS’ in the subject box. Applications received after a given deadline will be considered after the next deadline, unless the period in question for the proposal has already passed.

      Payments from this fund can be made in sterling only and are entirely at the discretion of the committee of the Society. No correspondence will be entered into where applications are refused.

      Recent successful applicants include Martin Christ (Oxford) and Róisín Watson (King’s College London), and Ben Pope (University of Durham).

3. GHS-DAAD grants for German language courses in Germany

GHS-DAAD grants for German language courses in Germany

The German History Society and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are pleased to offer grants for PhD students registered in the UK and Ireland. These grants will enable students to attend summer language courses in Germany and are jointly funded by the GHS and DAAD. They offer an opportunity to PhD students of History at universities in the UK and Ireland to enhance their German language skills according to their academic profile and research needs.

Successful applicants are able to choose an appropriate German language course and level of tuition from the broad range of summer courses offered by German universities.

Please note that successful applicants have to apply for the summer courses separately, and places are subject to availability.

Up to four awards valued at €850 are available each year. The awards are intended to contribute to travel expenses, accommodation, and course fees for a three-to-four-week German language course at a German university.

Please check the individual course outline for tuition details and extra-curricular activities.

Eligibility

The grant is open to PhD students of History who are currently enrolled at a UK or Irish university or prospective PhD students already accepted at a UK or Irish university. All applicants must also be members of the GHS.

To apply

Download application form (in Microsoft Word format). Application materials, as indicated on the form, must be submitted by 15 December. All materials should be sent by email to the Society's Postgraduate Officer, Alison Rowlands, marked ‘GHS’ in the subject box.

In 2016, thanks to the generous support of the DAAD, four grants were awarded. The successful applicants are:

  • George Bodie (University College London)
  • Jenna Byers (King’s College London)
  • Samantha Knapton (Newcastle University)
  • Karen Porter (Sheffield Hallam University)

4. Funding Guide for PhDs in German History

Funding Guide for PhDs in German History

The following list of resources is not a comprehensive database of funding opportunities for students who wish to pursue doctoral studies in German history. It is designed with Home/EU students in mind and while it offers details of some of the usual routes, it does not include the internal sources of funding offered by many UK universities.

When thinking about applying for PhD funding, students should follow the following basic guidelines:

  • Be aware of deadlines and start researching options early (most new schemes are launched during the autumn months for funding commencing the following academic session. Check deadlines for both funding bodies and participating institutions)
  • Do your research (on programme, institution, location and possible advisors)
  • Seek out advice (are you aware of all the options?)
  • Identify and contact referees early (referees will usually need at least two weeks’ notice for writing letters)
  • Think about and seek out feedback for your research proposal/personal statement (does it address all the questions set out by the funding bodies?)
  • Does the application meet all the requirements stipulated by the funding body, for instance regarding the submission of references and academic transcripts (if applicable)?

5. Funding Sources

Funding Sources

Arts and Humanities Research grants Council (AHRC)

These studentships are not awarded directly to individuals by the AHRC but are awarded to institutions or consortia, which then invite competitive applications for them. They can be for full studentships or only for the payment of fees.

Block Grant Partnership - A number of research organisations are allocated five cohorts of research studentships under this scheme. Applicants should apply to research organisations, which will shortlist candidates based on open competition. For further details, see: http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/skills/phdstudents/fundingandtraining/bgp1/

‘Block Grant Partnerships 2’ awards will be given to Research Organisations (ROs) or consortia of ROs to provide funding for postgraduate studentships from 2014. The BGP2 scheme will be the AHRC’s main route for providing postgraduate research and training during this period.

Block Grant Partnerships - Capacity Building
This scheme is similar to the block grant partnerships but only allocates three cohorts of research studentships to research organisations. Applicants should apply to research organisations, which will shortlist candidates based on open competition. For further details, see:
http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Funding-Opportunities/Postgraduate-funding/Block%20Grant%20Partnerships-Capacity%20Building/Pages/Block-Grant-Partnerships-Capacity-Building.aspx

Collaborative Doctoral Awards
Collaborative Doctoral Awards are designed to offer studentships for study at a higher education institution but also experience at a non-academic organization or business. Again, the awards are made to institutions, not directly to individuals.  See http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/Funding-Opportunities/Pages/Collaborative-Doctoral-Awards.aspx

British Federation of Women Graduates Awards

This organisation offers a variety of grants of up to £6000 to women graduates, usually for the last year of doctoral study.  For more information, see http://www.bfwg.org.uk; http://www.ffwg.org.uk

Carnegie and Caledonian Scholarships from the Carnegie Trust

These awards of £15,200 (2012-13) are available to any graduates with a first-class degree from a Scottish university. Applicants will need to be put forward for this award by the university at which they will study for their PhD. See:  http://www.carnegie-trust.org/schemes/postgraduate-schemes/

Deutsche Akademische Austausch Dienst/German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

The DAAD offers a wide range of grants to students, researchers, and academics from UK and Irish universities, most of which are open to all subject areas. For further information, see: http://www.daad.org.uk/en/12866/index.html

One-Year Grant for PhD Students, Postdocs, and Junior Academics
This scholarship provides funds for doctoral, post-doctoral students, or junior academics to study and/or conduct research at any German university, research institute, music academy or art college for a total duration of seven to ten months (1 academic year). In exceptional cases, applicants wishing to complete a doctoral degree programme in Germany may receive up to three one-year extensions.

1-6-Month Research Grant for PhD Students, Postdocs, and Junior Academics
A limited number of short-term research grants are available to academics in Britain and Ireland to carry out research at universities, research institutes, libraries and archives in Germany. Applicants are expected to establish contact with and secure access to the respective institution(s) prior to their DAAD application and make their own travel and accommodation arrangements. 
German History Society/DAAD Summer Language Course Grant
See GHS funding section above. 

Economic and Social Research grants Council Studentships

These studentships are available for those history projects that can be defined as within social sciences topic groups. Like those awarded by the AHRC, the studentships are awarded through research organisations (or Doctoral Training Centres (DTC) as the ESRC calls them) and (in future consortia) and so students should apply directly to the DTCs and/on consortia. A variety of schemes are available, including for interdisciplinary ventures that would be co-funded by the National Environmental Research grants Council. For further information, see: http://www.esrc.ac.uk
The value of an ESRC award in 2012-13 was £13,590 per annum for maintenance, and up to £3,732 per annum for university fees.

German Historical Institute London (GHIL) 

Each year the GHIL awards a number of research scholarships to post-graduate students and Habilitanden at German universities to enable them to carry out research in Britain, and in some cases to post-graduates at British universities for research visits to Germany. The scholarships are generally awarded for a period of up to six months, depending on the requirements of the research project. Applicants from British universities will normally be expected to have completed one year's post-graduate research, and be studying German history or Anglo-German relations. Deadlines for applications are usually 31 March and 30 September each year. Applications, which should include educational background, qualifications, list of publications (where appropriate), and an outline of the project, together with a supervisor's reference confirming the relevance of the proposed archival research, should be addressed to the Administrative Director Wolfgang Haack, German Historical Institute London, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NJ. For further information, see: http://www.ghil.ac.uk/scholarships.html

Institute of Historical Research

The IHR offers a variety of doctoral scholarships (of various values up to £13,200) and up to seven one–year Junior Research Fellowships to help doctoral students in the advanced stages of their studies to complete their PhD. Postgraduate Bursaries are also available to enable students to undertake research at the IHR. See: www.history.ac.uk
For another excellent source of funding options, see:  http://www.history.ac.uk/history-online/grants/source?sid=80

Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust Grants

Grants of between £300 and £1000 are available to graduates with First Class or 2:1 degrees who are over the age of 24 on 1 October of the first year of study. See: www.stapleytrust.org

Wellcome Trust Awards, Fellowships and Studentships in the History of Medicine

The Wellcome Trust makes a large number of grants available for those studying topics within the field of the history of medicine. The amounts awarded vary, as do the application deadlines. For more information see: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Funding/index.htm

6. Selection of Reports by GHS Funding Recipients

Selection of Reports by GHS Funding Recipients

‘With the kind support I received from the GHS I was able to explore fully the riches of the university archive in Tübingen and the state archive in Stuttgart. Working through numerous account books, I was able to shed light on the interaction of the authorities in Württemberg and the local print industry.

‘Although recent scholarship has established that Morhart and his heirs produced ordinances, a close look at the account book reveals that the printers’ job went far beyond this. The authorities frequently paid them to produce funeral orations, sermons as well as numerous protestant works. Furthermore the Morharts often commissioned volumes from other print shops or the Frankfurt fair for the duke as well as bound books for the chancellery. This way Morhart and his heirs earned thousands of gulden by serving their rulers until the end of the century; these were more than welcome payments in a business as risky as printing.‘

Saskia Limbach (University of St Andrews), was awarded funding in 2015 for a research trip to Tübingen and Stuttgart.

‘I was very grateful to receive a bursary from the German History Society. With this funding I attended the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which took place 14-17 May 2015. The theme of the conference is medieval studies, broadly defined from the fourth to sixteenth centuries. I organised and spoke in a panel on the sixth-century poet, bishop, and hagiographer Venantius Fortunatus, entitled ‘New Approaches to Venantius Fortunatus’. Although his poetry, saints’ lives, and sermons are significant sources for his time and place, their complex literary nature has led them to be undervalued by historians. The panel successfully explored understudied aspects of his work. I also attended a number of useful and interesting panels on late antique and early medieval history. I look forward to attending future Congresses in Kalamazoo and to keeping in touch with the scholars I met this year. I would like to thank the Society for your support.‘

Hope Williard (University of Leeds) was awarded funding in 2015 to attend the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies, USA.

'From 21 June to 3 July I was invited to be a fellow at the 20th Annual Summer Institute for the Study of the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization, hosted by the Holocaust Educational Foundation of North Western University. For the two weeks I was in Evanston, I attended seminars led by some of the most distinguished scholars in the field, and worked with a diverse group of fellow postgraduate researchers, as well as established academics from the United States, Canada, Columbia, the United Kingdom, Poland and the Netherlands. This experience proved invaluable in helping me to develop international ties with researchers outside of the UK who shared similar research interests to my own. In addition it deepened my understanding of current pedagogical trends in Holocaust Studies, and enriched my knowledge of subjects, beyond the scope of my own research, within the fields of film, gender, and literature studies. Had it not been for the generous grant provided by the German History Society, I would not have been able to take advantage of this fellowship, and thus I warmly thank the Society for supporting me in this endeavour.‘

Michelle Magin (University of Manchester) was awarded funding in 2015 to attend the 20th Annual Summer Institute for the Study of the Holocaust and Jewish Civilization, USA.

'The bursaries awarded by the German History Society (GHS) and the German Studies Association (GSA) enabled to attend the 39th Annual GSA Conference which this year took place in Washington D.C. from 1 to 4 October. This Conference was by itself a very unique experience for me. It had it own specific dynamics due to its scale. As the largest gatherings in the history of the GSA it brought together more than 2,000 scholars in the areas of German history, literature, culture, and politics, featuring 25 intense, three-day seminars, and 330 panels, as well as lunchtime talks and arts events in the evenings. I benefited greatly from the part of the conferences I was actively involved in. I participated in the seminar ‘New Feminist and Queer Approaches to German Studies’ and presented my paper entitled ‘The outopia of utopia in Critical Theory — A Fatal Mistake?’ at a panel themed around ‘Alterity, Resistance, and Social Change: Marxist and Postmarxist Approaches’. The discussion following the presentations at our panel was particularly stimulating. I am very grateful to both organizations for the received financial support.‘

Nina Rismal (University of Cambridge) was awarded funding in 2015 to attend the 39th Annual GSA Conference, USA.

‘The GHS-DAAD grant allowed me to attend a two week summer course in Heidelberg run by the Goethe Institute. I was anticipating a high level of teaching having previously attended a Goethe Institute evening class in London and was not at all disappointed. Mornings were spent in intensive grammar classes and a wide variety of interesting and imaginative exercises to get us out of our comfort zones and using the language. However, I was surprised by the scale and diversity of the almost overwhelming cultural programme which, besides introducing a lot of fascinating history, also ushered in a wealth of unexpected vocabulary! The course certainly provided a great opportunity to quickly strengthen my German but it also turned out to be a lot of fun. My time in Heidelberg will serve as an excellent primer for spending 2015/1016 in Switzerland and Germany researching the relationship between sixth-century canon law and the development of Merovingian legislation.‘

Patrick Griffith (King's College London) was awarded funding in 2015 to attend a language course in Heidelberg.

‘Thanks to the joint GHS-DAAD grant of €850 I was able to attend a one month intensive language course in Berlin. The course was organised by BerlinerID and consisted of 20 hours tuition a week. The opportunity to study in such a great environment and at such intensity is something that I would never have been able to do in the UK and my understanding of German improved very quickly in the space of one month. Berlin is of course a wonderful place to live and learn German in, particularly if you are fascinated by history. Everywhere you turn there are iconic and poignant glimpses into the past. I would encourage anyone to take advantage of such a great opportunity if possible. My time in Berlin will contribute significantly towards my research on trade union influence over world trade negotiations which requires me to able to read sources from the archives of the Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund.‘

Andrew Waterman (University of Portsmouth) was awarded funding in 2015 to attend a language course in Berlin.

‘"Liebe ist ein seltsames Spiel": Huldigungen, Verteufelungen und theoretische Reflexionen in Literatur, Kunst und Musik It was the title of the Sommer-Universität course in Bamberg which really appealed to me from the start, as one of the few DAAD summer courses which focused on literature, music, art and culture. And, after a month of immersing myself in these topics, as well as vocabulary and grammar courses (plus choir as an extracurricular!), I truly understood how strange a game love could be as I fell for both the language and the city of Bamberg. Having such a beautiful setting steeped in medieval history as the backdrop to studying was a particular bonus for me and the excursions to Nürnberg and Würzburg provided a chance to see more of Franconia and Bavaria. However, the highlight of the course was its truly international nature, attracting students from over thirty different countries. The mixed variety of abilities and experiences created a welcoming environment for studying and, inevitably, socialising over a Rauchbier “auf den Keller”. Attending the course has greatly improved my confidence and familiarity with the German language, something which will be of great help as I move onto researching secondary literature texts on Henry IV of Germany for my PhD topic on child kingship in the central Middle Ages. I would like to thank the German History Society and the DAAD for their financial support which enabled me to attend this fantastic course and immerse myself in the German language, as well as all the tutors at the Universität Bamberg for being so friendly, helpful and fun!‘

Emily Joan Ward (University of Cambridge) was awarded funding in 2015 to attend a language course in Bamberg.

With the assistance of the Postgraduate Bursary of the German History Society, I lived and carried out research in Berlin from January to April, 2016. Whilst there I visited a number of archives and libraries to examine material pertinent to my research on the Civil Service in Nazi Germany. I also used the opportunity to attend research seminars and colloquia at the Technical and Humboldt universities, and generally to soak up the city’s renowned academic environment. It was a thoroughly beneficial experience, both socially and academically, that has fundamentally shaped the form and content of my PhD. Without the generous assistance of the GHS this simply would not have been possible, and I wholeheartedly recommend any Postgrad working on German history to engage with the GHS and apply for assistance if required. It is a truly great institution, particularly for up and coming scholars.

Darren O’Byrne (University of Cambridge) was awarded a GHS bursary in 2015

I was very grateful to receive a German History Society Bursary in 2015, which has funded the final year of my doctoral studies. My research aims to answer this question: what is the role of friendship in a rapidly changing world? Using the works of Venantius Fortunatus—poet, bishop, and biographer of saints, my thesis examines how friendship shaped the culture and society of the sixth-century Merovingian kingdoms. I argue that friendship functioned as a means of social organisation, connecting human beings to each other and the saints by bonds of mutual benefit and obligation. In addition to writing up my doctoral research, I have given papers at conferences in St-Dizier, Rome, Edinburgh, and Leeds, and have served as a tutor for an undergraduate course on late antique history and a postgraduate course on Medieval Latin. With the Society’s support I have been able to take full advantage of these opportunities and I would like to thank the GHS for making this year possible.

Hope Williard (University of Leeds) was awarded a GHS bursary in 2015

The conference considered the ways in which early modern communities used shared space to define their individual and group identities, as well as their relationships with one another. The keynote speech by David Luebke (University of Oregon) explored sacred spaces and how they could be shared in the Westphalia, Germany. The conference brought together scholars working in theology, history, art history, English literature and modern and medieval languages. As such, the conference enabled scholars from different countries, universities and academic backgrounds to engage in fruitful conversations. Thanks to the generous support of the GHS we were able to cover the costs for our keynote speaker and welcome him to Oxford for the first time in decades. We were also able to provide post-graduate bursaries to scholars from Germany, or those working on Germany. The financial aid of the GHS was invaluable in making the conference a success.

Martin Christ (University of Oxford) and Róisín Watson (University of St Andrews) were awarded funding in 2016 to support the conference ‘Sharing Space in the Early Modern World’

The call for papers asked participants to reflect in particular on the ways in which actors in medieval Germany made use of openness and secrecy in their various forms. The main theme to emerge from the conference was the importance of the demonstration and utilization of ‘openness’ in medieval German society, often in contexts in which ‘secrecy’ has previously claimed historians’ attention. It became clear that whilst we must still wrestle with the problem of secretive behaviour in the past, the manipulation and instrumentalization of ‘openness’ can complicate the historical record to an equal if not greater extent. The second day of the conference was devoted to a workshop on current research by postgraduate and early career scholars: discussion ranged from the Teutonic Order to understandings and depictions of kingship, and from the language of tournament culture to a reappraisal of the term ‘reformation’ in German history. The conference was attended by researchers working throughout the UK, and by scholars from Belgium, Denmark, and Germany. Plans for future collaboration were also discussed.

Ben Pope (Durham University) was awarded funding in 2016 to support the conference ‘Openness and Secrecy in Medieval Germany’

In June 2016 I attended the annual conference of the International Network of Genocide Scholars at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Funded by the generous assistance of the German History Society, I gave a paper which looked at the role of the German Civil Service in the Nazi genocides against Jews and other minorities. The conference was interdisciplinary in approach, and covered a wide range of topics focusing on the causes, consequences and legacies of mass violence. It was an inspiring event that provided me with many ideas for future projects and introduced me to some scholars who expressed interest in future collaboration. Aside from the feedback I received on my own paper, therefore, the conference also proved to be an excellent networking opportunity. Without the support of the GHS I would not have been able to attend, so I am truly grateful for that.

Darren O’Byrne (University of Cambridge) was awarded funding in 2016 to attend the annual conference of the International Network of Genocide Scholars at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel